Post-doctoral position for (12 months): Emission and fate of biocides in urban waters via EURAXESS

Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu)

Créteil, France 🇫🇷

Job Information

Organisation/Company: Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu)

Research Field: Chemistry » Analytical chemistry, Chemistry

Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)

Country: France

Application Deadline: 28/02/2023 – 12:00 (Europe/Paris)

Type of Contract: Temporary

Job Status: Full-time

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?: Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?: No

Offer Description

The post-doctorate will take place at the Water Environment and Urban Systems Laboratory / Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu – École des Ponts ParisTech / Université Paris-Est Créteil) in the Maison des Sciences de l’Environnement (Rue Pasteur Valléry Radot 94000 Créteil

Supervision – Adèle Bressy (Research Fellow, École des Ponts), Julien Le Roux (Senior Lecturer, UPEC), Régis Moilleron (Professor, UPEC).


Biocidal substances are ubiquitous in the urban habitat; they are used as preservatives in everyday products (cosmetics, detergents, paints, textiles), as biocides in construction materials, or to control pests (Hahn et al. 2010; ANSES 2019; Paijens et al. 2020). Humans are regularly exposed to biocides in the home, which increases the risk of, among other things, sensitisation, induction of antibiotic resistance or cancers (Hahn et al. 2010; Wieck et al. 2016; Van Maele-Fabry et al. 2019). On the other hand, these biocides can be released into the environment via wastewater or runoff, impacting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, leading to a deterioration of resource quality (Kresmann et al. 2018; Paijens et al. 2022). Despite this alarming situation, urban/domestic sources of these emerging substances, unlike agricultural pesticides, have been neglected in terms of risk assessment (Wieck et al. 2016; Kresmann et al. 2018; Merel et al. 2018). Claudia Paijens’ (2019) doctoral work at LEESU highlighted a domestic origin of these substances (Paijens et al. 2021) and showed an impact of the Paris agglomeration on the biocide contamination of the Seine River (Paijens et al. 2022). Furthermore, its state of the art (Paijens et al. 2020) highlighted that transformation products (TPs) of biocides are poorly documented and represent an unknown exposure risk for inhabitants and receiving environments.

Following these preliminary results, the ANR project Biocid@Home (2021 – 2024) was funded with the objectives of estimating the emissions of biocides by urban housing, assessing the health and environmental risks linked to these emissions, and comparing possible reduction solutions.

The proposed post-doctoral position aims to quantify biocides in different types of urban water and soil (greywater, runoff, groundwater, soils from infiltration areas) by LC/MSMS and to search for and identify the main transformation products of biocides by high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Degradability experiments under controlled laboratory conditions will allow the formation of transformation products to be studied and the existing database to be completed. In a second phase, biocides and their transformation products will be monitored in various types of urban water and in water management/treatment facilities. For example, the potential gains from stormwater infiltration or greywater phytodepuration works could be addressed both on parent molecules and on metabolites.


  • To quantify biocides in various environmental samples by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MSMS).
  • To propose a methodology for studying biocide transformation products in urban waters: extraction of substances from the water, analysis by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS, LC-QTOF), signal processing (semi-targeted screening and identification of new TPs by untargeted screening).
  • To implement biodegradation and photolysis tests of substances in the laboratory and identify TPs by HRMS.
  • To search for these TPs in real samples.


  • Contact details of 2 referees
  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae with a list of publications
  • The application sent to 


ANSES (2019) Étude Pesti’home – Enquête nationale sur les utilisations domestiques de pesticides
Hahn S, Schneider K, Gartiser S, et al (2010) Consumer exposure to biocides – identification of relevant sources and evaluation of possible health effects. Environ Health 9:7.
Kresmann S, Arokia AHR, Koch C, Sures B (2018) Ecotoxicological potential of the biocides terbutryn, octhilinone and methylisothiazolinone: Underestimated risk from biocidal pathways? Science of The Total Environment 625:900–908.
Merel S, Benzing S, Gleiser C, et al (2018) Occurrence and overlooked sources of the biocide carbendazim in wastewater and surface water. Environmental Pollution 239:512–521.
Paijens C (2019) Biocides émis par les bâtiments dans les rejets urbains de temps de pluie et transfert vers la Seine. Université Paris-Est
Paijens C, Bressy A, Frère B, et al (2021) Urban pathways of biocides towards surface waters during dry and wet weathers: Assessment at the Paris conurbation scale. Journal of Hazardous Materials 402:123765.
Paijens C, Bressy A, Frère B, Moilleron R (2020) Biocide emissions from building materials during wet weather: identification of substances, mechanism of release and transfer to the aquatic environment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27:3768–3791.
Paijens C, Tedoldi D, Frère B, et al (2022) Biocidal substances in the Seine River: contribution from urban sources in the Paris megacity. Environ Sci: Water Res Technol.
Van Maele-Fabry G, Gamet-Payrastre L, Lison D (2019) Household exposure to pesticides and risk of leukemia in children and adolescents: Updated systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 222:49–67.
Wieck S, Olsson O, Kümmerer K (2016) Possible underestimations of risks for the environment due to unregulated emissions of biocides from households to wastewater. Environment International 94:695–705.


Research Field: Chemistry » Analytical chemistry

Education Level: PhD or equivalent


  • PhD in Environmental Chemistry and/or Analytical Chemistry with an interest in water quality, experimentation and data processing.
  • Experience in the analysis of organic contaminants by chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry is required.

Languages: ENGLISH


Research Field: Chemistry » Analytical chemistry

Additional Information

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available: 1

Company/Institute: Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu)

Country: France

State/Province: Ile de France

City: Créteil

Postal Code: 94000

Street: 5 Rue Pasteur Valléry Radot

Where to apply



State/Province: France

City: Créteil

Street: 5 Rue Pasteur Valléry Radot

Postal Code: 94000





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development